the shape of a treatment
During an initial treatment with a client, I begin by determining the client’s basic level of health by asking a series of questions relating to any chronic health conditions or medications the client might be taking. We then discuss the client’s treatment goals: their reasons for seeking Massage Therapy, areas of their body which hold stress or experience pain, restriction or discomfort. At this point, postural assessment or orthopaedic testing may be relevant.
Then, I propose a treatment that I think will best meet the client’s stated goals. When agreement is reached, we then discuss positioning on the table. At any time, clients are encouraged to ask questions and state their preferences.
When this discussion is concluded, I leave the treatment room in order to wash my hands, and to allow the client time to disrobe and position themselves on the massage table.
Draping: When positioning themselves on the massage table, the client is encouraged to lie between two sheets. Only that part of the body being treated will be exposed, and care is taken to ensure that the client is appropriately draped at all times.
In general, Massage Therapy is most effective when performed directly on the skin. This means that, typically, clients remove their clothing in the areas to be treated.
This custom is, however, completely subject to the client’s comfort level. If desired, treatment can be conducted through clothing, or over the sheet. Positioning is also completely subject to the client’s comfort level. Massage can be done seated rather than lying if the client wishes. Such concerns are particularly relevant for those engaged in the process of redefining their relationship with their body.
My training and professional experience have included a wide range of musculo-skeletal concerns. I am very familiar with the treatment of soft tissue injury and chronic overuse symptoms.
Over time, however, I have added two areas of particular specialization: the treatment of women in the peri-natal period, and the treatment of those recovering from trauma who are seeking a different relationship to their bodies.
Treating women during the peri-natal period requires a basic grounding in the common concerns and possible complications which women can experience during this time. Also, it requires a careful attention to positioning of the client during the treatment, flexibility, and a focus on comfort.
Treatment of those dealing with complex emotional/physical issues requires an acute sensitivity. My initial assessment of such clients is thorough and respectful. With such clients, I take extra care to define boundaries and treatment goals. I listen closely to what the client brings to each session.
While not formally trained in counselling techniques, I am adept at active listening, and approach all clients with compassion.
I place great value in massage. I feel I have chosen my profession well, and I enjoy my work.
I find massage to be beneficial in several ways. From a neuro-muscular perspective, it is an effective way to ease pain, integrate the body/mind, and promote circulation, healing and relaxation. On a more subtle level, I believe that it has great value in that it incorporates that most basic of human experiences, the power of touch.
In my physical setting, I strive to create an atmosphere of tranquility and peacefulness. Practicing massage in a home setting aids greatly in this. I am located on a residential street, and my treatment room is cozy, and enlivened by many leafy plants. I possess a broad selection of music ranging from unaccompanied nature sounds, to lyrical guitar and medieval chant. Clients are also welcome to bring music of their choice.
My natural disposition, as well as my training in Mediation, affords me a great capacity for being with people where they are. I feel that this capacity serves me well in helping clients to feel comfortable and at ease in my treatment space.